Things to do in Kruja, Albania: The City of Skanderbeg!

Last Updated on August 8, 2022

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Kruja city also known as the city of Skanderbeg, a national hero for Albania, is a historic city and one that shouldn’t be missed if you decided to travel to Albania.

Only 30km away from the bustling and busy capital of Tirana is a great spot for a getaway for some peace and quiet.

I instantly fell in love with this place and the amazing things to do in Kruja, Albania, as it’s located high in the mountains and gives you a chance to dive deep into Albanian history.

Best things to do in Kruja, Albania, Kruja castle with large stone tower and ruins of small stone walls next to modern buildings and large series of mountain peaks under an azure blue sky
Kruje Castle

Oh, and the antique shops and markets will pull you in if the history doesn’t!

Kruja city sits over 600meters above sea level and from the top, you gain the most picturesque panoramic views.

📚 P.S. Grab access to my Travelling Albania Guide to get a comprehensive insight into more places to visit in Albania (including secret spots that are not recommended in the usual guides!)

Below is everything you need to know about what to do in Kruje, how to get there and where to stay!

What to do in Kruja, Albania

1. Visit Skanderbeg Castle and the museum

Find out what to see in Kruje, view of Kruje Castle showing stone tower standing at top of zigzagging road leading down through trees past several buildings with mountains in the distance
View of Kruja Castle & Skanderbeg Museum, Kruja

You simply must visit Skanderbeg castle as these are the main things to see in Kruja. It’s also one of the best castles in Albania!

They also have a Kruja museum attached where you can learn more about Skanderbeg and the history of this castle and its surroundings.

Entry is 200lek. Skanderbeg was a national hero in Albania as he battled against the Ottomans and stopped them from taking over Albania.

From the Kruja castle, you get magnificent views of the city and mountains, which is one of the many reasons it’s one of the top things to do in Kruja!

Enjoy the atmosphere of Kruja bazaar, cobbled street lined with buildings showing outdoor displays of colourful clothing and crafts to buy with tall building in the distance

2. Wander the Kruja bazaar (Pazari i Krujës)

You simply cannot visit Kruja city without visiting the Kruja bazaar located in the old part of town next to the castle.

The Kruja market dates back to the 14th century and has a wonderful selection of things to buy, including the best Albanian souvenirs.

If you are looking for things to buy in Albania, the Kruja bazaar is one of the best places to go shopping.

Homemade rugs and carpets, traditional clothing, silver and copper objects, handmade wooden articles and an abundance of antique shops filled with interesting knickknacks.

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Find your favourite things to buy in Albania, front of building with collection of colourful crafts and wares displayed on the cobbled street with doors invitingly open

You will want to buy nearly everything you see at the Kruja bazaar, so make sure to take some cash with you!

3. Enjoy the sunset from Emiliano Rooms

Located within the castle grounds is a 400-year-old house which is also accommodation (more on that below).

At sunset, this is the best spot in my opinion! Grab a drink and take in the serenity and quietness of Kruja.

Enjoying the stunning sunset views is definitely one of the best things to do in Kruje, and you might as well have the best spot available!

Explore beautiful Kruja city, aerial shot of city with buildings lining the sloping hillside amongst the trees and grassy areas leading around the curve of the hill towards misty mountains in the distance

How to get to Kruja, Albania

It only takes 45 minutes from the capital of Tirana. To get from Tirana to Kruja by bus you need to go to the bus station called Stacioni Autobusave Zona e Veriut.

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The bus costs 100lek and departs at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm, 6 pm but, keep in mind that bus times in Albania change regularly so it’s best to ask a local when you are in Tirana.

If travelling by car from Tirana to Kruja, you can park at the carpark just above the bazaar and walk. The old town is very small so it’s easily walkable.

There are barriers for cars in front of the road to the castle which opens at 6 pm and closes again in the morning.

You could easily do Kruja as a day-trip as there’s not a whole lot to see and do but I recommend staying at least the night.

Kruja is a beautiful place to relax in the mountains for some time away!

Enjoy cheap hotels in Kruje on a budget, bowl of salad with silver tongs next to bowl of spiced soup and plate of marinaded olives and plate of sausages with glass of white wine and salt and pepper on a white tablecloth

Where to Stay in Kruja, Albania

I recommend staying at least one night in Kruja so that you fit in all of what to see in Kruje!

Emiliano Rooms is the number one choice for a Kruja hotel, you shouldn’t stay anywhere else in my opinion because this place is the best.

It also has the best location: within the castle of Kruja! The original house is over 500 years old and has a great job keeping the place in its original form.

They have rooms in the house and little cabins which I stayed in. It was so beautiful! The little cabins have an ensuite and the BEST view of the mountains.

This amazing Kruja hotel really feels like you’re staying on the middle of nowhere when you look out your window.

The staff were incredibly friendly and one of the highlights of staying here. They also do excellent food!

For 5 euro each you can get dinner, including about 5-6 different dinner dishes and dessert. Everything is homemade and so delicious!

Despite it’s fantastic location, it’s actually one of the best cheap hotels in Kruje, so you really can’t go wrong here!

🛌🏼 Check out prices & availability at Emiliano Rooms

Journey to the castle of Kruja, tall stone tower with remains of surrounding stone wall and mountains behind under a twilight sky

There’s your full guide on things to do in Kruja – what to do, where to stay and how to get there!

Kruja is one of the best places to visit in Albania and it’s an all-year-round destination!

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

I visited in October and it was so quiet which was lovely. In the winter you get to experience Kruja as a winter wonderland.

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What is Kruje, Albania known for?

Kruja is well known for being the site where Skenderberg (real name: Gjergj Kastrioti) fought off the Ottoman militia from conquering Albania. He is considered an Albanian national hero, and Kruja is the best place to learn more about him. Kruja was also the first capital of Albania before the title moved to Tirana.

✅ Is Kruja worth visiting?

Yes, Kruja is a wonderful little city and an important city in Albanian history. If you love history, or travelling off the beaten path, Kruja is a must!

✅ What are the top attractions to visit in Kruje?

The top things to do in Kruja are visiting Skanderbeg Castle (also called Kruja Castle) and museum to learn all about Skanderberg and the history of the city, exploring and shopping at the bazaar and marvelling at the sunset!

Have you been to Kruja, Albania? What did you think? If you have any further questions or suggestions about things to do in Kruja, then leave them down below!

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Things to do in Kruja, Albania: The City of Skanderbeg!

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